Aaron

Episode 12 – Frank Oriti

This is Frank Oriti. Frank is one of the most incredible painters I’ve ever come across in my life. I’m not just saying that because he is part Italian (like me), or went to the same undergraduate school as me, or that he is a fellow Clevelander. Honestly, it was after seeing his ultra-realist portraits of the new working class that really shook me to the core. You can view some of Frank’s work HERE. I met up with Frank in his new studio in Lakewood, OH and we talked about his process, the life of the artist and how the working class struggle is the lifeblood of his work. Frank graduated with his M.F.A. in Painting in 2011. In 2013, Oriti was featured in The New York Times and was also the recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize Emerging Artist Award. Recently, his work was featured in the prestigious BP Portrait Award in London’s National Portrait Gallery. He currently lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio.

This episode is sponsored by The Maria Neil Art Project
www.marianeilartproject.com
​All original music by:
Ken Wendt D.M.A
www.filmmyart.com

Episode 11 – Pat Butler

This is Patrick Butler. If you’ve ever turned on the radio in ‪‎Cleveland‬ you’ve probably heard Pat doing the traffic alerts every morning on Newsradio WTAM 1100 and various stations around the city. However, I didn’t know he is in a Hard Rock band, that his taco consumption on Tuesdays are etched in Midwest lore and that he’s honestly one of most genuine people I’ve ever met. I was introduced to Pat and we had an (unexpected) inspirational conversation at a local Starbucks. So inspirational, in fact, that Pat agreed to be a guest on my podcast and endure me asking him dangerously nerdy questions about his career in radio and why this medium has influenced our both of our lives. The conversation only got better from there..
​This episode is brought to you by:
Monarca Language Services
www.monarcalanguageservices.com
​All original music by:
Ken Wendt D.M.A

Episode 10 – Tonya R. Jones

I recently had a conversation with Tonya R. Jones. Tonya currently serves as a Magistrate and is running for Judge of the Domestic Relations Court of Cuyahoga County this November. This conversation gave me a great opportunity to get an inside look into the mind, thought-process and history of somebody who truly embodies a public servant. Our conversation was vibrant and revealing as we both explored our own personal experience with divorce, domestic violence and our expectation of how the court system can impact the social fabric of the American family.

​This episode is brought to you by:
Casamo & Associates
www.casamo.com
​All original music by:
Ken Wendt D.M.A

Episode 9 – Don Wismer

Don, as I came to find out, is an incredibly successful and unique personality. However, he’s also used painful experiences of his past to forge better futures for our LGBT youth in Greater Cleveland. Our conversation touched on issues of poverty and bullying to breaking stereotypes of the professional hair care world.

Don serves as President of Dare2Care whose mission is to provide sponsored teens and teachers with a variety of transformative and leadership development opportunities creating fair minded leaders willing to educate others about identity and to bring awareness of bullying. Don is also the Director of Shows & Education for Aquage (a professional hair-care manufacture based in Chagrin Falls, OH).

​This epsiode is brought to you by:
​www.aquage.com
All original music by:
Ken Wendt D.M.A

Episode 8- Hilary Gent

This week was an especially inspiring conversation with Hilary Gent. Hilary is an talented artist who also operates the Hedge Art Gallery in Cleveland. I visited her at the gallery (where we recorded our conversation), the space itself was welcoming and inspiring and our conversation followed suit. Oh, by the way, Hilary is the first female guest to appear on the Authentic Audio Podcast! I gotta tell you it’s a great feeling to end that drought. I can assure you that there will be ample amount of feminine perspective on this podcast as we continue to grow. However, more than being a first on the podcast, our conversation was anchored by humor, curiosity and a love for artistic expression. Hilary and I tried to investigate why the hell we create art in the first place and where does that inspiration come from? Ourselves? God? The Cosmos? I also seek guidance and get some great advice regarding a deep insecurity I have about not truly “feeling” or “getting” visual art.
This episode is sponsored by The Maria Neil Art Project
www.marianeilartproject.com
All original music by
Ken Wendt D.M.A

Episode 7 – Birthday Stories & Spirits of the Past

I decided to break format because it was birthday a couple days ago and I was feeling nostalgic. So, here is a story about facing our own mortality, the family we lose and the conversations I wish I could share with you from the great storytellers of my life.
This episode is sponsored by
www.seeingplacetheater.com
All original music by
Ken Wendt D.M.A

Episode 6 – Billy Sharp

One of the the goals of this podcast is to help me to try and understand my own American experience one conversation at a time. This past week I had an intriguing conversation with Billy L. Sharp . He is a visible force on the Cleveland political scene and our conversation, and his story, may challenge assumptions you have about what it means to be a public servant in today’s political landscape.
More about Billy L. Sharp at:
billylsharp2015.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Sharp2018
FaceBook: Billy L. Sharp
This episode is sponsored by www.monarcalanguageservices.com
All original music by
Ken Wendt D.M.A

Episode 5 – Jacob Nash

I recently sat down and had a deeply inspiring conversation with Jacob Nash. Jacob is a trainer, speaker, and adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University. He also serves as one of the most recognized and prominent transgender activists in the state of ‪‎Ohio. Jacob uses his own personal narrative and tireless advocacy to fight for basic human rights for his community. A community, that I only recently realized, is discriminated against at a disproportionate and staggering rate. Besides the national headlines of Caitlyn Jenner, the majority of Americans really don’t understand the types of challenges and accomplishments the people in this community have on an everyday basis . I was one of those Americans. Even though I developed a friendship with Jacob, I wanted him to tell his story and share it with anyone who would listen. I also had some questions that I’d hope he’d answer for me. Jacob’s story is an enlightening, and frankly, heroic narrative of being who you truly are. No matter what.

This episode is sponsored by The Seeing Place Theater
more at www.seeingplacetheater.com

All original music by
Ken Wendt D.M.A

Episode 4 – Skip Corris

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with Skip Corris at his Elyria, OH home. This guy, to me, is the definition of authentic. I was so curious to talk with him because I wanted to know how he has been able to lead such a vibrant and well rounded life. Skip is a theatrical performer, actor, teaching artist and director. He also taught in the Cleveland prison system for years, all the while, finding a way to live a life as a man dedicated to his first love: his wife and his family. Skip discusses growing up during the civil rights movement, how his father (a lifelong republican) taught him values of openness and tolerance, and how we as artists and citizens can advocate for tolerance and conversation especially during this harsh political season.
This episode is sponsored by www.filmmyart.com

All original music by
Ken Wendt D.M.A
**This episode is dedicated to Ramiro. RIP

Episode 3 – Raymond Bobgan

Raymond Bobgan is the Artistic Director of the Cleveland Public Theatre. Raymond and the crew at CPT are at the forefront of theatrical innovation in ‪Cleveland. I sat down with him at CPT in the heart of the Gordon Arts District and had a really insightful and intimate conversation about connecting with audiences, being an artist in Cleveland, and the deeper reasons for why he devises theater. I also found myself thanking Raymond for something that I never would have imagined.
This episode is sponsored by www.monarcalanguageservices.com
All original music by
Ken Wendt D.M.A